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Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

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was not the view of practically everybody in this country that by challenging
the might of the aggressor, Poland, though at first defeated., would be
restored to her former greatness after an Allied victory. What was the
position at Moscow ? The Prime Minister dealt very sketchily with the
Moscow conversations, and I propose, therefore, to go into them in a little
more detail., because it is just as well to know how these romantic Poles feel
who are accused of demanding the impossible. Mr. Mikolajczyk went to
Moscow under great difficulties. There was the background of Eastern
Poland,, already occupied by Russian troops, the background of Eastern
Poland already being treated as Russian territory without any agreement,
mutual or otherwise.
" It was with that background that M. Mikolajczyk went to Moscow.
What are the terms ? . . . First, we understand that the Polish Government
were told categorically that they had to give up all territories east of the
Curzon Line., and that at once—at once. There was no question of a
demarcation line until hostilities were over, but those territories were to be
given up at once. Those territories included 33 per cent, of the Polish popu-
lation and 47 per cent, of the pre-war territory of Poland. It was rather a
big bite. Secondly., the Polish Government in London were to amalgamate
with the Lublin Government. I think we might sweep away at any rate
one subterfuge. Neither the British Government, nor the Russian Govern-
ment, nor the Polish Government, regard Lublin as anything else but a fake.
M. Mikolajczyk was told I understand at Moscow, first, that in this amal-
gamation, Lublin must have 75 per cent, of the representation of the Polish
Government and the rest of the parties 25 per cent. I believe it was indi-
cated that if a proper arrangement could be made, if Mikolajczyk was
sufficiently accommodating, it might be worked out on a 50-50 basis—a
good old British compromise. I wonder what the Prime Minister and his
Government would say if it was suggested by a foreign power that the hon.
Member for West Fife (Mr. Gallacher) should have a 50-50 representation.
Mr. Messer (Tottenham, South) : " What an absurd comparison."
Mr. Raikes : ee Judging by the representation of the Communist Party
in the Polish Parliament in the years between 1920 and 1939 . . . Regarding
these two reciprocal offers to which the Prime Minister referred as com-
pensation for the Poles, all I say is that the offer of East Prussia means East
Prussia without Koenigsberg, without Pilau, the fortress of Koenigsberg
which would dominate the Gulf of Gdynia and also control the Port of
Danzig. As regards the offer of German lands to the Oder, it is easy enough
to consider on the map depopulating millions of people. But does the House
appreciate what that means—4,000,000 Poles east of the Curzon Line
dragged from the homes in which they have lived for generations, 4,300,000
Ukrainians left to be Russian citizens, whether they wish it or not, and
5,000,000 Germans again forced from their homes and transferred to
Western Germany. What a sum of human misery . . .
" There is one thing that I deeply regret. Many people may feel that
M. Mikolajczyk is the ablest Prime Minister Poland has had, but the differ-
entiation between the degree of help likely to be given by our Government
to the present Polish Government as compared to the last, was an unfortunate
phrase on the part of the Prime Minister of England. If we cold shoulder
the present Polish Government and merely back M. Mikolajczyk and the
Government of which he is a Member, we shall allow the Prime Minister
to turn into a c king-maker ' like the Earl of Warwick in the 15th century.
I do not think it will pay in the long run for the Government of this country
to be strongly partisan in regard to the personalities in Cabinets formed by
friendly allied Powers who have a right to select their own Ministers as they